Two Resolutions

5:59 PM Wednesday, December 30, 2009

For the coming year, I have two resolutions.

LOSE WEIGHT THROUGH HEALTHIER DIET AND EXERCISE... because it's really unacceptable how I start gasping for breath just going up and down the stairs.

EARN MORE ONLINE... because it's also unacceptable that I won't be able to afford being a SAHM considering all the opportunities out there.

Do you guys have any?

Lord of the Rings

12:47 AM Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I was running errands at CDR-King when I saw LOTR being played. After that, I started bugging the hubby to download the files so I could watch them again. Mind you, I was not really a fan though I loved the movies.

Anyway, I got to watch the extended versions this time. The Two Towers especially had a lot of scenes that were omitted from the theater release. I marvelled again at how I could see Ian McKellen playing Dumbledore, and how they really made Orlando Bloom soft-looking and effeminate. I didn't think Frodo and Sam were bordering on gay anymore, and I was confused why they made Gimli too much of a comic relief. I still loved Eowyn, and loved to see that falling in love scene by Faramir for her. I still quivered for Haldir and Boromir and Faramir, and I still caught my breath in my fave scenes (the call to arms by lighting fires, the 'on the 5th day, look to the east' moment, when Boromir died, whenever Haldir is there, when Eowyn and Merry slew the Ring Wraith, etc.

Anyway, I lost 10 hours at least of sleep and task time to finish all three movies. But it was worth it. Now am on Wiki reading up on the characters!!!

Two Deaf Sadnesses

1:47 AM Monday, December 21, 2009

I am still learning about Deaf culture so I still really have all these preconceived notions and assumptions about them that are being busted.

The first is LITERACY as I know it. We've already been told that the Deaf have problems with written English/text but it's only recently that it has sunk in that they really have a problem reading, or a problem with written text. I assumed before that they can't write English well (thus the constant bad grammar) but can read it with no problems. I was mistaken. I was told that only a few of them like to read because they really get confused. They tend to 'read' per word and not per sentence/context. Even Deaf college students at CSB think 'icing' is something cold. And to think I was thinking of giving out books to them or talking about books!

A part of me can't help but be sad that they can't enjoy the classics, unless it's taught to them in play. A part of me can't help but be sad that they can't read comic books and laugh, or be immersed in a good book for the whole day. Largely because I love to read. And somehow, I thought, if they'd never appreciate music, they'd at least have the wonderful worlds in books to turn to for magic.

For others who can't understand why the Deaf would have a problem reading, I guess I have to explain that this is largely because their style of learning is more physical-visual rather than visual-abstract. This is also why they're very good in the Arts.

The second sadness relating to the Deaf is the fact that in CSB, around 90% of the Deaf students are on scholarships, some of whom were sent to school late because their parents didn't want to invest in them. Plus, most say nobody's going to hire them anyway after graduation.

Now, last Saturday was our Christmas party and one of the FSL students was asking if we'd be contributing for anything else because she doesn't have money anymore. She had to give a Deaf student some money because said student was very hungry but didn't have lunch money.

My classmate and I also gave another student some money because his bag was slashed in the LRT. He lost his wallet and thus had no way of going home to Bulacan, where he lives. I was so sad that thieves preyed on someone with disability, but of course, I doubt they knew or would care. One other sad thing about that is the student lost his Disability ID that gives him certain discounts when he travels and eats.


One thing I could say about the Deaf though is that they are very helpful and are empowered to seek help (at least CSB students are). Partly because they can't really afford to be shy while signing and they do have to be more proactive in order to learn or get anywhere.

I know hubs is sometimes wondering if am about to adopt one of the students soon... hehe. And even I can't explain why this sudden affinity to them and their cause. But I really hope I could benefit them someday, one way or another.

My short-term goal is telling (signing) stories to Deaf kids. Yes, am back to stories... I want my brand of magic to be theirs too.

The Jackson 5 sang that lovely song, and this Christmas, they'd be missing Michael.

I have adjusted a little to not having Mommy around to cook Noche Buena, and I've adjusted to the laughable attempts we've made to cook the same stuff Mom usually cooked for us before. But Christmas really hasn't been the same since I got married... at least, what Christmas has always been to me.

Anyway, my sister is also not here this Christmas. And my Dad might still be in Bicol then. So hubs and I might be spending Noche Buena with his family. I still haven't really told him but that sort of depresses me. I've gotten used to Noche Buena in Lipa... with my nieces and nephews and food my family has cooked. And it's not that hubs' family's cooking isn't good, but it's just that saying goodbye to traditions is always a sad thing.

Which brings me to the challenge that I should take up already: to start our own Christmas traditions... like dishes I only ever cook at Christmas, and our own way of gift-giving, and yeah, maybe opening our doors or hearts to people in need, one way or another.

But there is much that am thankful for. I feel for those who have lost loved ones this year... who will be celebrating their first Christmas without a partner, a parent, a sibling or child. I am mighty grateful that's not the case for me, and so I celebrate all my blessings and pray for those whoase Christmases wouldn't be the same.

How Much of a Snob Are You?

6:11 PM Monday, December 07, 2009

Since I was never pretty nor rich, much of what I could be snobbish about was brains. And for a while, I was one of those who routinely laughed and even sometimes felt that I was a better person because I knew how to speak English fluently. I was/am arrogant in other ways but bad grammar has been one of my bigger pet peeves. I also had very superficial standards for dignity and intelligence.

But fortunately for me, I am growing up. I am knowing better.

It certainly didn't happen overnight.

But then I found THE BERKS. They are blogger friends who are generally older than me, who routinely share their own life experiences with me. Those abroad are always quick to say that even Filipinos are racist and snobbish. They are quick to remind me of the true value of hard work and dignity and what to really be proud of about being Filipino.

And then my parents became caregivers and gardeners. When the petition for them finally came through, my Mom decided to leave her long career in the government (where she was a Personnel Manager already) and my Dad decided to leave his properties here to build a life abroad for my sister, and in time, my brother. My parents have never shunned manual work and were always industrious, but when they started working what I have always thought of silently as 'menial' jobs, it was only then that I realized how stupid I've been, and how noble they truly are. It was a shift in perspective but I now really, really regret having been scared to be mistaken for a domestic helper that one time I went to HongKong (when a man was asking all Pinays who will be DH to fall in a separate line at the migration desk). I was ashamed to be ashamed then, especially since I was not even asked if I was one by anybody, but I am now ashamed for not fully realizing then just how much sacrifice those women are giving to this country.

And then there's my husband. I graduated cum laude while he dropped from college and was still a student when we met. I can out-English him but heaven knows I will never earn as much as he is earning now. Heck, when I quit my job, he was already earning times 2.5 of my salary. He has a more logical, rational mind. And he's simply brilliant with computers. I can't even set up my son's bike, and plugging the right plugs in my PC is as techie as I got. How dare I, then, to think that big words necessarily equate to intelligence?

And well, I am a Mom now. If I didn't appreciate Multiple Intelligence and Learning Styles when I was studying Psychology all those years ago, I certainly do now. I didn't have to have a special needs child to appreciate the fact that each child is different and will learn differently. I cannot expect my kids to all grow up brilliant, but I am at pains making sure they'd grow up productive and happy. It's listening to a child's grammatical mistakes that makes me laugh less at an adult's mistakes. Weird, isn't it?

And then there's the Deaf, who will always find it hard to be grammatically fluent. Being welcomed into their world has also made me appreciate more just how we offer different abilities and perspectives to the world, so it really is silly to expect brilliance in just one way.


A childhood friend, who was usually referred to as gay-looking, and who was really so slow at school went caregiving in Canada and found herself an older Canadian man to marry. She's now very happy, living well, with two healthy kids and a husband who peppers her Friendster and Facebook pages with mushy, cheesy whatevers.

So now, when I see 'exotic' looking Pinays with foreigners at the mall... I also don't feel bad for them. If fellow Pinoys find them ugly, then it's certainly great that other guys found them appealing. Plus, these men are helping their families have better lives. Because of these men, more people are able to study. And hopefully, their mixed race kids will grow up enlightened about discrimination and prejudice because they have the best of both worlds.

I just hope they're all treating each other well.


So now, my only pet peeve is really text speak when it comes to grammar. And when I see poorly-constructed sentences, I don't think about that person being dumb.

Koreans, Chinese and Japanese all don't treat good English as a sign of excellence. Usually, they only learn it if it will serve their business well. Even Europeans are very forgiving about English mistakes. So I now really don't see why Filipinos should fuss so much.